Evolving With the Fintech Sector

Dechert’s clients are reinventing the financial services landscape and the way people spend, invest and lend money and trade financial products. As fintech companies continue to innovate and disrupt our economy, our clients are facing increasing competitive and technological challenges in a regulatory environment that is slow to adapt. Dechert lawyers draw on deep knowledge and decades of experience to bridge the gap between legacy regulation and new technology, finding sophisticated solutions for clients operating in this rapidly evolving arena.

Dechert’s lawyers work across offices in the United States, Europe and Asia, advising key players in the biggest global fintech markets. Our team helps clients leverage new technology, find market opportunities, innovate and navigate legal and regulatory challenges.

Blockchain and Digital Assets

We know blockchain. Our lawyers help clients leverage the benefits of distributed ledger technology (DLT) to innovate and re-envision how financial instruments and investment products can be constructed. As our clients incorporate cryptocurrency and digital assets across loan origination, purchase, sale, servicing, financing and securitization transactions, Dechert is at the forefront of these sophisticated transactions – providing advice to help clients increase their efficiency, accuracy and value. Dechert is uniquely positioned to apply its deep knowledge of blockchain to complex regulatory problems faced by disruptive fintech firms. For more information, visit our Cryptocurrency and Blockchain Resources Center.

Alternative Loans and Finance

Borrowers and lenders have new ways of connecting in the marketplace, creating  opportunities for private investors, small and medium-sized enterprises and institutional investors. Our lawyers explain the legal framework and familiar structures employed (144A, Reg D, S1) as well as the key differences as digital and tokenized securities bring new asset types to the markets. With broad experience in marketplace lending and capital market structures, Dechert is well-positioned to guide established and emerging fintech clients executing sophisticated structured finance and securitization transactions, pursuing strategic financings and maintaining regulatory compliance.

Electronic Financial Services

The digital economy has changed the way consumers pay for goods and services and how we invest, online and offline. Dechert attorneys represent providers and customers on legal issues in connection with emerging digital services ranging across electronic payments, online investment advisers and marketplace lenders. We advise both providers and customers in connection with the provision of electronic services, including software-as-a-service and cloud services. We assist client on legal, statutory, contractual and strategic issues related to the use of data analytics and machine learning to collect, develop and monetize financial data.  Our global team offers perspectives on the legal matters that vary from one jurisdiction to another, along with insight into customer behavior and the cultural mindset in different regions.

Electronic Trading Activities

Electronic trading has accelerated across securities and product offerings and includes most market participants, including retail investors, sophisticated proprietary traders, institutional investors, and broker-dealers. Our cross-practice team advises clients on legal and regulatory matters, including compliance with securities laws and regulations, intellectual property protection, and privacy and data protection related to offering direct market access and directed brokerage, developing proprietary trading algorithms, and operating alternative trading systems and securities exchanges. We also regularly represent clients seeking to invest in electronic trading firms and their technology.

A trusted advisor across a range of services

Relying on our fintech solutions are companies, platforms, technologists, investment managers and funds, banks, broker-dealers, exchanges, and private equity and venture capital investors. We work extensively with alternative trading systems, high frequency and algorithmic trading firms, digital investment advisers, data companies and other financial services innovators.

Our aim is to provide companies with a comprehensive range of industry-specific legal services. In addition to the areas above, we advise on business-critical matters related to:

  • Consumer financial services
  • Compliance with public and private regulatory requirements
  • Cybersecurity compliance advice, analytics and litigation
  • Data privacy compliance advice, analytics and litigation
  • Domestic and international tax
  • Fund and investment adviser formation and related regulatory matters
  • Government enforcement, investigations and examinations
  • IP advice, protections, licensing and litigation
  • Software-as-a-service and data monetization
  • Data protection laws
  • Joint ventures, strategic alliances and outsourcings
  • Mergers and acquisitions
  • Private equity and venture capital transactions
  • Registration as alternative trading systems and broker-dealers
  • Securities litigation
  • Structured finance and securitization
  • Technology and software disputes

Integrated resources to simplify complex global issues

Our global resources resolve the complex legal matters that apply to technology development, deployment and implementation. From the largest financial institutions with operations spanning many countries, to entrepreneurial companies launching their businesses in a single jurisdiction, we help clients meet their business objectives, protect their technology assets and successfully navigate regulatory requirements.

  • A consumer payments fintech company in responding to a civil investigative demand (CID) from the CFPB.
  • A digital asset and technology company with respect to the establishment of a de novo special purpose national bank charter.
  • Affirm, Inc., Avant, Inc., Carvana Co., BFS Capital, Inc., Enova International, Inc.and, LLC in connection with bank partnership arrangements; whole loan sale and forward flow programs;144A securitization transactions; and warehouse and term financing facilities.
  • A global financial services institution in connection with the establishment of a business to provide digital credentials and authentication services. We advised on strategies for the protection of core technologies and for the commercialization of products and services. We also prepared and negotiated agreements relating to the development of the digital technologies, partnering agreements with third parties to support the exploitation and commercialization of the technology, and customer and user services agreements.
  • A hedge fund in its complex settlement agreement with a software developer with respect to the ownership of high-frequency trading software and the underlying algorithms used to make trades using the software.
  • A major fintech company in an inquiry regarding money transmission licensing requirements.
  • A private equity firm in its investment in a global electronic trading firm.
  • A U.S. start-up in its registration with the SEC and membership in FINRA as the  first broker-dealer approved to operate an alternative trading system to trade U.S. Treasury securities.
  • Blackboard Inc., a leading global educational software company and an affiliate of Providence Equity Partners, in its US$260 million acquisition by tender offer of Higher One Holdings Inc., a NYSE-listed financial technology company and the 2019 sale of its Blackboard Transact business unit to Reverence Capital Partners, LP.
  • Certain large mutual funds complexes and their boards of directors with respect to the acquisition by the funds of residential mortgage loans.
  • Figure Technologies, Inc. on the US$20 million security token offering successfully completed by Provenance Blockchain, Inc.
  • Figure Technologies, Inc. on its closing of a US$1 billion asset-based financing facility custodied on its blockchain.
  • Fund managers in connection with loan purchases and financing facilities related to loans originated on platforms sponsored by Lending Club, SoFi, Freedom Plus, Square, CommonBond, Funding Circle U.S., Funding Circle U.K., Upstart and others.
  • Interactive Brokers Group, an automated global electronic market-maker and broker that operates in more than 60 electronic exchanges and trading venues around the world, in its US$1.2 billion initial public offering. This represented the second largest IPO (at the time of issuance) in 2007. Beyond its significant size, the transaction was noteworthy because: it was conducted through a non-traditional “best efforts”/Dutch auction approach.
  • JetPay, a provider of end-to-end payment processing and Human Capital Management solutions, on its US$184 million sale to NCR Corporation.
  • Morgan Stanley Investment Management in the establishment of AIP Alternative Lending Fund A and AIP Alternative Lending Fund P - registered closed-end funds organized primarily to acquire marketplace loans.
  • Multiple alternative trading systems regarding compliance with Regulations ATS and NMS and responses to the SEC and FINRA in connection with SEC and FINRA examinations.
  • Conduct comprehensive reviews of electronic order routing by multiple stock and options exchanges for compliance with Regulation NMS’s trade-through rule.

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